2011 was a great year for Android - Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was announced. The Galaxy Nexus was released. A whole truckload of Android tablets came out. The first 4G LTE smartphones appeared. But there were some significant speed bumps as well. Here are, in no particular order, the five things in the world of Android in the last year that really got our hopes up, but ended up being a little disappointing.
Just after expanding Nightly support to Samsung's Epic 4G and a slew of LG handsets, the CyanogenMod team has brought nightlies to a handful of Xperia devices, including Coconut (the Xperia Live with Walkman), Iyokan (the Xperia Pro), and Satsuma (the Xperia Active).
In a Google+ post earlier today, CyanogenMod announced that CM7 support had arrived for multiple new devices, throwing out a special hint to Xperia users.
In a continued effort to unlock bootloaders everywhere using their online tool, HTC has added several exciting entries to the "supported devices" list. Perhaps the most notable of the new entries are the Droid Incredible 2 and HTC Thunderbolt. Officially, HTC's online unlock tool is compatible with all devices launched after September 2011, but the new additions reflect an effort to add compatibility for older devices.
Hot on the heels of the Droid Razr's leaked fastboot files, two more Motorola devices can now be restored to stock configuration in case of emergency.
Motorola's Atrix 2 and Droid Bionic have both had their fastboot files leaked in recent days, providing a bit of insurance for daring users and developers alike. The Atrix 2's files are available here, while the Droid Bionic's fastboot set can be found here.
Motorola Droid RAZR owners (and developers) received a bit of good news yesterday, thanks to a leaked set of fastboot files which allow your RAZR to be restored to stock in case of a soft brick or other unforeseen issue.
Many users over at XDA and DroidRZR.com forums have already reported success in flashing the files and restoring their devices, indicating that the fastboot set is, in fact, the real deal.
According to Verizon's system update documentation, owners of big red's Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 can expect a software update any time now. While it isn't the Ice Cream Sandwich users are undoubtedly craving, the update (bringing system software to I905-EL01) offers quite a few interesting features.
Among these are improvements to Samsung's Touchwiz UX, a new Social Hub widget, built-in photo editing capabilities, and The Daily – a news app that allows users to "access the best of print, web, and broadcast news from around the world."
The update also brings Bluetooth 3.0 compatibility, additional support for more Wi-Fi routers, DivX, security patches, enhancements to TouchWiz's music and video players, and built-in support for "industry standard VPN clients." There's no word yet on just when the update will be available, but we'll be here to keep you updated.
Did you give or receive an Android device for Christmas? Even if you did not, it looks like a whole host of people found the green robot under their tree this Christmas. According to a tweet from the ever-so-candid Android head Andy Rubin, 3.7 million Android devices were activated over the 24th and 25th of December.
UPDATE: There were 3.7M Android devices activated on 12/24 and 12/25.
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) December 28, 2011
Just over a week ago we reported that device activations had hit about 700k a day, which suggests that the Christmas weekend figures of approximately 1.85 million activations, per day, is a significant increase.
For the first time, Android Police is having its go at a "best of the year" series, and we're going to need your help. Android Police will be featuring a number of posts in the coming weeks leading up to CES 2012 showing off the very best of what Android has brought to people around the world over the last year. Your favorite phones, tablets, apps, and games, will all be facing off for the chance at a (probably not very highly coveted) Android Police Andy Award, recognizing the best - above the rest.
Auckland GTUG, a New Zealand-based Google Technology User Group, uploaded a video to YouTube today demonstrating the power of the Android Open Accessory platform via an impressive Christmas-themed light show.
A product of GTUG's November coding session, the light show is controlled by an Acer Iconia A500 tablet, and the controller app allows for predetermined sequencing of up to 9 channels, and even supports syncing with music. Without further ado, here's the video:
On that note, all of us here at Android Police would like to wish you and yours a happy holiday season, and a joyous new year!
Honeycomb sources are being worked on.